Fighting for your country is the ultimate sacrifice, and honoring those who have fallen is a sign of love and grace.
Sonny Brewer is a man that has a deep love for his country. He is a Vietnam veteran and has been through hard times of his own.
When Hurricane Michael devastated the community that Brewer lives in, he decided to do something to bring it back to life, according to WMBB.
When confronted with a tree damaged by Hurricane Michael, Brewer wondered, “What am I gonna do with this stump? I gotta make use of it,” he said.
With the hurricane-ravaged tree, he wanted to display the most patriotic symbol he could think of – a red, white and blue eagle.
His inspiration was to give something back that would help give hope to those that needed it so much after the hurricane devastation.
Brewer knew that the national symbol would do just that and he got to work creating the eagle.
To make sure he got it just right, Brewer hired Chad Gainey, a local sculptor that he knew was up to the task.
“You can look back and say wow I started with a dead tree and now it’s a piece of art,” Gainey told WMBB.
On Baldwin Avenue and State Street in Panama City, Florida, now stands a symbol for all that have given so much to our country and those in the community that need something to believe in.
“It’s a symbol of courage, integrity, can-do attitude, will-do attitude,” Brewer told WMBB.
Brewer’s neighbors and strangers alike are enjoying the creation and many have stopped their cars as they pass by his house, admiring the work underway.
“It’s kind of inspiring,” one boy told WMBB as he was walking by. “[It’s] something to do with a really old tree instead of just wasting it.”
To Brewer, it was the least he could do, and the response to the sculpture has been nothing short of incredible.
A veteran in a passing car told WMBB, “I fought for this country. I have friends under that flag. That flag means a lot to me.”
“The way this community has been devastated, this means so much to me,” another veteran told WMBB. “The feeling you have is just indescribable.”
With Gainey’s skill, Brewer has created something inspiring out of what was once devastating, and the results have shown a community in despair that there is hope after a disaster.
If Brewer can believe, so can a whole community as he told WMBB, “It’s my tree but the symbol belongs to the people of Panama City.”
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